September 25, 2010. S.P.Korolev RSC Energia - MCC-M,
Korolev, Moscow region
Descent module (DM) of the Soyuz TMA-18 vehicle returned to the ground at 09:23, Moscow time. All operations for de-orbit, search and landing of Descent Module passed normally.
Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov (the crew commander) and Mikhail
Kornienko, NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson completed their flight to the International Space
Station (ISS) under the ISS-24 program.
Expedition-25 prime crew continues working onboard the Station: Russian cosmonaut Fedor Yurchikhin, NASA astronauts Shannon Worker and Douglas Wheelock (ISS-25 commander).
At the Mission Control Center near Moscow (MCC-M) the following operations were performed: maneuvers for de-orbit and descent of the Soyuz TMA-18 vehicle to the ground, search for DM landed and the crew evacuation from it; these operations were performed under the control of the State Committee (Chairman - Head of the Federal Space Agency A.N. Perminov) and Technical Management in charge of flight tests of the manned space complexes (Head - RSC Energia President, General Designer V.A. Lopota).
The Main Operations Control Team (Flight Director - First Deputy General Designer of RSC Energia V.A. Soloviev) controlled the Soyuz TMA-18 vehicle flight in the phase of return to the ground . The team worked at MCC-M in co-operation with specialists of the aerospace search and rescue, other Russian organizations and services, as well as the U.S. Mission Control Center in Houston.
Representatives of FSA, NASA, ESA, Russian enterprises and organizations present at MCC-M and participating in the ISS program implementation watched the performance of completing operations for the vehicle de-orbit and its DM landing on the ground.
At MCC-M after the crew evacuation from DM a press conference for the Russian and foreign journalists was held. Managers and representatives of Roscosmos, RSC Energia, foreign space agencies, leading enterprises of the rocket-space industry of Russia took part in it.
- The Soyuz TMA-18 vehicle descent module made a soft landing in the design area to the south-east of Arkalyk, Republic of Kazakhstan.
- For safety assurance during the landing of the manned vehicle descent module the following was used: aircraft AN-12 and AN-24, helicopters Mi-8, the rescue-evacuation vehicles; in this case all design landing points were covered both during the controlled and ballistic descent.
- The duration of the space flight with Alexander Skvortsov, Mikhail Kormienko and Tracy Caldwell Dyson onboard the vehicle was about 177 days.
- By decision of the State Committee in connection with the comments during the vehicle/Station undocking the ISS-24 crew return to the ground was postponed from 24.09.10 to 25.09.10.